Franchising Hunter Ruthven · 5 August 2015
Supercuts: The big US hairdressing franchise hitting British shores
From its humble beginnings in Los Angeles in 1975, Supercuts quickly had to create a franchise model to compete with increasing demand for its affordable haircuts. Now with 2, 000 franchises, Supercuts UK MD Jackie Lang told Business Advice all about it. For anyone keen to become their own boss and lead a business, but don’t necessarily have a great idea theyd like to roll with, franchises provide a quick and secure way of aligning with a proven brand. Supercuts is one such example of a comprehensively proven brand. Owned by Regis Corporation and operated under the Regis UK umbrella in Britain, the business serves in excess of one million guests annually. While the franchise model may be new to the UK, that doesnt mean the brand hasn’t been here for a while. With over 180 salons, there is presence in cities including London, Manchester, Sheffield and Bristol. However, like growth was given a channel though setting up a franchising model in the US back in the 1970s, Regis plans to employ just such a tactic on this side of the Atlantic. Lang explained that, in its current global shape, Supercuts is two thirds franchised and one third corporate. Traditionally some US models in hair and beauty, or shoes, find it hard to get into the UK market and quickly the difference in culture brings about a change in the model, she explained. what weve found different is that we have been operating Supercuts salons [in the UK] since 1999 so understand the differences. The way weve come to market is very different. We don’t have to learn how to in-store a model into the UK. One of the unique features of the Supercuts franchise model is that it is manager operated, meaning interested parties can maintain a full-time role and have a franchise business different to other offerings in the space. It is also the only franchisor in the convenience and value space, with all others located in luxury. we have sustained demand, everyone needs a haircut. It is a low investment, we provide a full turnkey service and every franchise is ready to operate on day one, Lang explained. The training and development of team is there, we really do hold hands. Haircuts, salon services and hair products are outlined at the three main revenue streams. There is also a dedicated? franchise business consultant who is responsible for visiting salons regularly to help with analysis, coaching and assistance. Lang was keen to emphasise that those possibly interested in taking on a Supercuts franchise do not need to have previous experience in the industry, rather a sound business mind. There are three locations where she sees the brand as having the best fit. First off is the supermarket model, where there is high footfall and low ingoing expense. Next up is on the high street, followed by high-end shopping malls. It would ultimately be a mix of all three of these that would create the best mix for a potential franchise operator, she added. We want business people who are looking to have a business long term.
ABOUT THE EXPERTHunter Ruthven
Hunter Ruthven was previously editor of Business Advice. He was also the editor of Real Business, the UK's most-read website for entrepreneurs and business leaders at the helm of growing SMEs.